Sunday, July 14, 2024

Latinas are becoming the change they want to see

Denise Padín Collazo, activist and thought leader, has released her first book, Thriving in the Fight: A Survival Manual for Latinas on the Front Lines of Change.

After the brutal rise of white supremacy of the last few years, America is on the brink of radical change for minorities. Women of color are rising up and being recognized for their leadership abilities. And that means Latinas, too. Drawing on her own experiences of triumph and failure, along with stories from fellow leading Latina activists, Denise Padín Collazo discusses three keys to thriving in the movement for social change: leading into your vision, living into the fullest version of yourself, and loving past negatives that hold you back. She also lays out three signs that you may be surrendering: wishing for a future reality to emerge, wondering where your limits are, and waiting for permission and answers to come from others.

For many of us recently, accidental activism has become a way of life to roll back encroaching oppression. But change may need to happen at home and in your own community, too. For example, Collazo explains how you can integrate family and work, step out of the background and claim your leadership potential, confront anti-Blackness in your own culture, keep focused on your ultimate purpose, and raise the necessary resources to keep fighting for justice.

Collazo is the first Latina, the first woman of color, and the first woman period to raise a family and stay in the work of community organizing at Faith in Action, an international progressive network of 3,000 congregations and 2 million members. A social justice leader and gifted speaker, Collazo’s work has been featured in the Miami Herald, Nonprofit Quarterly and, and she serves on the Forbes Nonprofit Council. She is a graduate of Harvard University, and resides in Puerto Rico.

This intersectional book is of interest to all genders and sexualities: “In contrast to these five symptoms of white supremacy (individualism, fear of failure, fear of open conflict, binary thinking, and the right to comfort for some), many of our strongest leaders of color have a collective vision, not just one based on individual achievement,” she writes. “Latinas can see many ways to make change, not just one way. Many are bold enough to risk failure for the chance to win. They value truth-telling, not secrets. They share leadership and lift up others, and by doing this, they create a whole that is even more brilliant and mesmerizing.”


Denise Padín Collazo is focused on encouraging women of color to lead into their vision, live into their fullest selves, and love past negatives that hold them back. The senior advisor for external affairs and director of institutional advancement at Faith in Action, the nation’s largest faith-based, progressive organizing network, she has advanced the cause of social justice over the past 25 years. She is a gifted speaker who leaves listeners compelled to take action on how they can act on their purpose.

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